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Google TV blocked by TV studios over piracy concerns

updated 08:05 pm EDT, Thu October 21, 2010

Google TV set back by TV agency blocks

Google TV is being blocked by TV studios at least partly out of piracy fears, tips alleged on Thursday [sub. required]. Disney's ABC as well as CBS have all confirmed that they prevent the TV OS from watching their free Flash video sites. The WSJ understood from leaks that at least Disney and NBC had objected because it didn't think Google was doing enough to stop piracy.

The insiders claimed that Google prioritizes searches on Google TV devices like the Sony Internet TV to favor official content over piracy, but Disney was reportedly still unhappy that it wasn't actively blocking pirates altogether. Google is believed to have enough control to manually hide sites from search results, but such a method wouldn't satisfy TV networks afraid of thousands of sites going undetected.

Only some networks and sub-networks, such as CNBC, HBO and Turner, have responded positively to Google's requests for websites optimized for a Google TV. Fox is also believed to be on the fence and may block it later. Hulu is already blocked in free form but may come through Hulu Plus.

The efforts undermine what was supposed to be Google's vision for Internet-capable TV devices, which would rely on web-based video and traditional TV being merged into one. Although a paid YouTube TV and movie service has been rumored as in progress, the company has no way of its own to pay for videos and as such has no easy way of getting around site blocks. Its primary sources of income may only come from search ads as well as rumored plans to run Internet-based ads in addition to TV shows' commercials.

Apple has run into its own problems getting acceptance for 99-cent TV rentals on the new Apple TV, but its focus on paid or locally shared media has helped it see shows from ABC and Fox that either have or might be blocked on a Google TV.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. facebook_Gary

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010

    -1

    Giigle TV?

    I'm so glad I bought the TV!

  1. facebook_Gary

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010

    -1

    Giigle TV?

    I'm so glad I bought the TV!

  1. Bengt77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2003

    -1

    TV studios

    Man, you've got to love those TV studios. Instead of seeing a chance in these technological advancements, they see threats. This is a way of moving TV into the 21st century. Very shortsighted of them, I say.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +7

    Bingo

    Google just got their first little taste of reality. But the main course of bitter real-world flavor will come when the market shows them that internet-on-TV has already failed. WebTV did it, lost money, got bought by (you guessed it) Microsoft, then totally died.

    The family TV is for communal TV / movie viewing and game playing. Will Dad will be allowed to browse Amazon for power tools during a family viewing of Kung-Fu Panda? Will Mom will be allowed to check her email during the Super Bowl? Will little Billy be allowed to check his FaceBook wall during Jersey Shores? No, no, and no.

    So Google's target market would be single geeks, male or female. They don't need to share that big screen TV. But not even they will want to turn on their HDTV set just to Google something or to tweet the contents of their sandwich.

  1. Integr8d

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010

    +6

    I sort of agree...

    WebTV blew chunks b/c the web, in general, blew chunks. WebTV was out in the days of 56k dial-up. Who remembers what it was like then? Text was the only thing that showed up reasonably fast. Video compression, along with the snail's pace bandwidth, meant 10-second, postage stamp-sized video that took 10 minutes to download. Even photos appeared either by scrolling slowing down the screen or starting out as a blob and slowly refining themselves to their proper resolutions... It was cool, only because it was all we had. But it still sucked compared to anything today.

    Comparing Google's offering to WebTV is like comparing F1 to a box car derby.

    The only reason I bought a Blu-Ray player was to have decent quality-decompressed Netflix streaming. I've run maybe two discs through it... Something interesting happens, when you have all-you-can-eat video on demand. Movies become a commodity. It's like, 5 minutes into a flick that you haven't seen before, it's sucking, you can just be like, "Next." And it's no big deal.

    The only reason Google TV might not do as well as expected is the same reason any of the competition might not do as well as expected: The culture still sees the TV as an entertainment device. And short of playing video games on it, it's not something you generally interact with. It's only purpose is to serve you images. So any ancillary device that enhances this may or may not do well. Some might offer more features than people generally care for. Some might be just right. And some may come up short.

    Right now, I see the happy medium of interactive TV being a few buttons, on a remote, that during an advertisement, take you to that company's website. I don't think people will want to venture much further out from their TV program than that (mind you, the TV program is still in a PIP window). A quick check on Facebook? Maybe not so much. But a nice growl-style update might be appreciated. I wouldn't mind having a little notice that my laundry is done:) Bordering on information overload? Possibly. But anything that gets us off the couch and AWAY from the TV can only be good.

    I suppose the key would be in choosing exactly how much interactivity you want, when you want it, with your TV and having the TV be able to accommodate that.

    But who am I kidding? It just has to look cool and most people will fall over themselves to have it.

    My $0.02.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +1

    Right track, Integr8d...

    I think your premise is pretty much correct. That's why I'd add that tools, for example an iPad, interacting with the TV is an even better solution. You watch the program but your iPad, in addition to being a remote, acts like a interactive device to that program.

    It allows you to search or view content based on the program, get further product info from a commercial during the broadcast, comment on social sites dedicated to said program, and etc., all on the screen of the iPad (or iPads w/in the network!) as opposed to the television screen.

    We'll see...exciting to see how this plays out!

    /

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: Giigle TV?

    I'm so glad I bought the TV!


    Yeah, because there's no concern over searching any web sites for video content with the AppleTV! You only have to worry about what's on Apple's store!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +4

    OK....

    So, the studios are upset. About what? Well, first up, it seems the GoogleTV isn't a locked-down device only capable of viewing a specific and pre-approved set of sites. Which is the way it should be (for we know that new and valid sites never appear).

    And they're upset that there might be the off-chance that some users of the GoogleTV, while searching for a show, will come across a pirated version of said show instead of the officially approved one (although the studios are given preferential treatment).

    So their answer? We won't let you access our approved content.

    So GoogleTV owners will be stuck performing their searches and finding, oh, pirated content! All without commercials, too!

  1. AdamC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -2

    Would love to see google produce contents

    Will google produce their own content and put it up for free viewing?

    Google make money through ads and when google ponying up some of the money they make to the contents providers google tv will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    But google arrogantly thinks everyone is stupid to provide free contents for them to use,

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